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Brendan Mcloughlin




Brendan McLoughlin

Before the new season starts I want to look at some of the award winners within the Irish National Flying Club in 2011. Gold Medals are awarded to pigeons that are timed 4 times in the prizes from the King’s Cup. These are exceptional pigeons and this year we have one winner Jackie Waring of Lisburn. There were 11 Hall of Fame awards for pigeons timed 3 times in the prizes from the King’s Cup. There was also one winner of the Friendship National Triple Award for a pigeon 3 times in the result from the Friendship National.

J Waring & Son, winners of the Gold Medal for a pigeon 4 times in the prizes from the King's Cup


Gold Medal winner Jackie Waring & Son of Lisburn & District HPS - 24th Open Messac in 2005, 53rd Open Vannes in 2006, 25th Open Plaudren Vannes in 2010 and 163rd Open Plaudren Vannes in 2011.


This is a magnificent set of results for our first Gold Medal winner since 1995 and is one of only 9 won altogether since its introduction in 1982. This pigeon was one of three to win Hall of Fame awards last year, when it became Jackie’s second winner of this accolade, having first picked up a Hall of Fame in 1995.

The pigeon itself is an eight-year-old blue cheq cock now called ‘Endurance’. When it was 24th Open in Messac in 2005 on a velocity of 1000.2ypm it was a very difficult race with only 108 birds in race time. The distance to the loft for this one was 499 miles and he was sent sitting 14 days. In 2006 he was 53rd Open on a velocity of 1075ypm. He was sent overdue to this one and Jackie kept changing his eggs so that they wouldn’t hatch.

In 2007 and 2008 there was no Kings Cup and he was only flown to Fermoy. In 2009 Jackie started him training but he was hawked and was very reluctant to leave the basket after this. Jackie decided that he wouldn’t send him to the Kings Cup in 2009 and considered retiring him.

In 2010 Jackie gave him a few training tosses as he was looking so well and he came well from these so was put back on the road again. He had only two races from Fermoy, one the 5-Bird race in mid June before being sent to Vannes for the 2010 King’s Cup when ‘Endurance’ was 25th Open on a velocity of 1132ypm.

He was prepared for the 2011 King’s Cup following the same programme as 2010, Fermoy and Fermoy 5-Bird. Here he was 163rd Open on a velocity of 884ypm to collect the coveted Gold Medal.


W McClure of Kells - 46th Open Plaudren Vannes in 2009, 127th Open Plaudren Vannes in 2010 and 33rd Open Plaudren Vannes in 2011


William timed his six-year-old hen, ‘Madam Delbar Deweerdt’, to collect his second Hall of Fame award having won one last year with his ten-year-old hen ‘Home Again’, which was a pure Deweerdt.

Sadly ‘Madam Delbar Deweerdt’ died within a week of coming home from this year's race, a sad end for such a great racing pigeon.

As the name suggests, ‘Madam Delbar Deweerdt’ is a Delbar x Deweerdt cross, the sire being Delbar from Donal Lavery and Jackie Patience. It is off a daughter of Jackie’s King’s Cup winner. The dam is direct Deweerdt. This bird won the single bird challenge in 2009.

By today’s standards this is a small team but a very successful one. William breeds only 20 young birds every year. He has 12 nest boxes so never has any more than 24 old birds at the beginning of the year. Birds going to France are raced down Ireland and only go to Talbenny if the weather is going to be good. The birds are mated in February and rear a pair of young birds. They are then separated and are put back together before the French races so that they will be sitting on eggs for their Derby or National race. ‘Madam Delbar Deweerdt’ was sitting 14/15 days this year and Bill slipped her a young bird before basketing. The French birds are flown mornings and evenings with the young birds to keep them fit.


Rev T. A. B. Sawyers & Son of Banbridge HPS - 107th Messac in 2005, 134th Plaudren Vannes in 2010 and 58th Plaudren Vannes in 2011.


Winning their first Hall of Fame is Rev Tab Sawyers of Banbridge. Son Wesley is a great supporter of long distance racing and with a bit of luck they might get more Hall of Fames next year as they also won three Merit awards this year as well. Wesley also sponsors the diplomas for the Single Bird Challenge through his firm W.S awyers and Co, Estate Agents Banbridge. The winning bird is a small to medium red cheq hen called "Mourneview Helen" after one of his daughters. Bred in 2003 from a mother to son mating of his Geoff Hunt, Brian Denney and Busschaert lines. Raced natural as a young bird she had three races. As a yearling three races, then the following year she had five races including Messac were she was 107th Open, Vel 309. In 2006 as a three-year-old again 5 races including Vannes just missing the prizes. In 2007 and 2008 there were no Kings Cup races. In 2009 Wesley put her in the stock loft, but decided to race her in 2010 as she looked so well, with the aim of winning a Hall of Fame. In 2010 she had five races including Vannes where she was 133rd Open. This year she had the usual five races including Vannes and finished 58th Open. Every year she went sitting ten days and was paired to a different cock each year, except the last two years when she was paired to the same cock. She also had a couple of single ups each year from Portrush, 60 mile the wrong way into a head wind. Wesley remarked she has never been ill and is a very intelligent bird. The feeding is all Natural plus peanuts in the evening.

Wesley Sawyers receiving 3 Merit Awards for Rev T A B Sawyers & Son


P. McCullough & Dtr of Downpatrick HPS - 71st Open Vannes in 2006, 58th Open Plaudren Vannes in 2009, and 213th Open Plaudren Vannes in 2011.


Philip McCullough and his 13-year-old daughter Courtney were National Champions in 2009 and need no introduction at all. Timed at 6.23am on the second day, this was the first time that this bird didn’t make it on the day from the King’s Cup. He is a 7-year-old black Busschaert cock now called ‘Black Magic’. The parents were bought direct from Louella and are from the Adam and Eve lines. Adam and Eve’s Starbright are grandparents on both sides. Philip reckons that this is a very good line and who can argue. Black Magic’s granddaughter was 30th Open in the Yearling National this year and these Louella Busschaerts have featured in the National result every year since their introduction.

Philip and Courtney try to get Black Magic on overdue eggs for the King's Cup but he’s not very reliable at getting his hen down on eggs in time, but they managed it this year and these were the only youngsters they had out of him this year.

Black Magic missed the King’s Cup in 2010 as he was the victim of a hawk attack on his final training toss before the big race but thankfully he recovered from that to go on and win this Hall of Fame Award.

Philip McCullough and his 13-year-old daughter Courtney


G. Buckley & Son Annaghmore 2nd Open Plaudren Vannes in 2009, 201st Open Plaudren Vannes in 2010 and 73rd Plaudren Vannes in 2011.


Winning their first Hall of Fame is Glen Buckley & Son, Annaghmore, one of the top racing partnerships in Ireland, with what must be rated one of the best racing hens in Europe. Not only has this hen already won a Triple Crown (an award for being in the prizes in the Young Bird Penzance National, the Yearling National and the King's Cup in consecutive years) she has also been 2nd in the King's Cup as a yearling. Bred in 2008 from Glen's own Soonjten family and raced on darkness, she raced the young bird programme and was 88th Open Penzance Young Bird National. As a yearling she flew most races and was 29th Open Yearling National followed by 1st North section 2nd Open Kings Cup Vannes. As a two-year- old she had a few inland races plus Bude and was 201st Open Vannes. This year again a few inland races plus Bude winning 3rd club followed by 73rd Open Vannes. This last two years she had a couple of tosses from Clogherhead after Bude. The feeding is Gerry Plus in the mornings and Byers and Versele Laga super widowhood in the evenings.


S. Corrigan of Loughgall - 199th Open Vannes 2006, 43rd Open Plaudren Vannes 2009 and 217th Open Plaudren Vannes in 2011


Another loft winning their third Hall of Fame is Sam Corrigan of Loughgall. His previous two were in 1998 and 2006. A top National winning loft, Sam has won a string of top positions over the years. Sam's winner is a 2003 bred blue cock called "Blue King". Raced on the darkness as a young bird he had a few races, he had the full programme up to Penzance the following year and as a two year old most of the programme. In 06 as a three year old again most of the programme plus Vannes where he was 199th Open. In 07 and 08 "Blue King" flew most of the programme but there was no King's Cups. In 2009 again most of the programme plus Vannes were he was 43rd Open this time.  Last year as usual most of the programme plus Vannes but he missed the prizes. This year he had most of the inland races plus Talbenny then into Vannes where he finished 217th Open. "Blue King" was sent every year sitting 14 days on eggs. The feeding is McCausland's Belgium Breeder, no tit bits and just plain water.


Ward & McIntosh of Downpatrick - 112th Open Plaudren Vannes 2009, 73rd Plaudren Vannes 2010 and 167th Plaudren Vannes 2011


This partnership is Mickey Ward and Geordie McIntosh and is one I have noticed putting up some wonderful results in National racing. The Hall of Fame winner this year is a five-year-old black cheq hen named ‘Julius Caesar’. This hen has flown France four times starting with Lamballe Derby and then three King’s Cups from Plaudren Vannes. She has also won 1st club NIPA Rosscarbery Old Bird National. 2011 has been a great year for Mickey and Geordie with three birds in the Open list from the King’s Cup taking 136th, 155th and 167th with 2,792 birds competing. From the INFC St Malo Friendship National they were 37th and 72nd Open and in the NIPA St Malo Old Bird National they were 2nd and 3rd section F also winning a NIPA Bronze award.

The Hall Of Fame winner contains all of the best of their distance bloodlines, which are Billy Walkingshaw of Killyleagh, John McMullan of Glenarm and Dennis Dall of Scotland. The birds are raced to a single loft with four sections. The birds are paired up around the first week of February and are flown Natural. It's also interesting to note that the young birds are all raced naturally as well and not on the darkness.


N. Black & Son of Dromara - 241st Plaudren Vannes 2009, 153rd Plaudren Vannes 2010 and 200th Plaudren Vannes 2011


Winning their third Hall of Fame are N. Black & Son of Dromara, having previously won two in 1995. Previous King's Cup winners in 1996, they also win the Harkness Rose Bowl for a record fourth time this year. The winning bird is a 2007 bred blue cock called "Big Darren", named after Darren Clarke by Ian and Andrew. His sire is a son of the partnership’s 1st and 2nd King's Cup paired together, while the dam is from the "23 cock", sire of "Annie Mary" when paired to a half sister of "Mothers Pride", 2nd Open Redon 2000. Raced natural as a young bird he had two races from 122miles and 155 miles. As a yearling he had two inland races plus Talbenny. As a two year old Fermoy 190 miles Talbenny 187 miles and then Vannes winning 294th Open. Last year as a three year old Clonmel, Fermoy and 2nd Talbenny plus Vannes where he was 153rd Open. This year he had three inland plus Talbenny then Vannes winning 200th Open. Last year and the year before he was paired to the same hen, which was 6th Open last year. They were sent sitting 12 day eggs.  This year he took to a new hen of his own accord, which was 51st Open and they were sent on a one-day young bird. He was flown an hour night and morning plus as many 45 mile tosses as possible on good days. The feeding is all Frazers; mainly continental widowhood plus high energy just before basketing, with a few peanuts at dusk each night. Apple cider vinegar is used in the drinkers regularly plus multivitamins twice a week. All the birds have flax oil on the corn plus pink minerals to dry it off two or three times a week.


W. McCaw of Ballymoney - 127th Open Plaudren Vannes 2009, 161st Open Plaudren Vannes 2010 and 86th Open Plaudren Vannes 2011.


Billy McCaw’s Hall of Fame pigeon, “Greystone Girl”, is a four-year-old blue cheq hen whose breeding is from birds from Ken Hine. Her first success from the King’s Cup was in 2009 when as a two-year-old she was 127th flying a distance from Plaudren Vannes of 532 miles. Then in 2010 she was 161st and finally in 2011 to complete the trio of prizes she was 86th Open. She went to this year’s King’s Cup feeding a small young Bird, her first of the year. Preparation for the big race consisted of two Inland races each year, and the first time back in 2009 she also had a Talbenny. She was also flown around the loft each morning and evening and a number of short private training tosses saw this hen in the right condition to successfully fly this premier event to be in the prizes three times and win a Hall of Fame Diploma.


J. O’ Hare of Crossgar - 145th Open Plaudren Vannes 2009, 208th Open Plaudren Vannes 2010 and 57th Open Plaudren Vannes 2011


This loft’s Hall of Fame winner is a black cheq cock bred in 2006 and now named “Bailey” after a much-loved dog, which John O’Hare had. This cock first showed his potential from France in 2008 when as a two-year-old he was 9th Open in the East Down Combine’s Old bird Derby from St. Malo. The following year 2009 he went to the King’s Cup finishing 145th Open. In 2010 he was 208th and completed the trio of prizes from the King’s Cup this year 2011 with 57th Open.

“Bailey” is bred for French racing, his dam being of the late Ken Rosbotham lines while the sire is ½ Ken Rosbotham and the other half is from another great French loft, that of N. Black & Sons of Dromara.

“Bailey” went to the King’s Cup in 2011 sitting 12 days on eggs but the other years John sent him to the King’s Cup feeding a small youngster. Normally he was paired up reared a round of youngsters and then split and re-paired for the King’s Cup.

Preparation for the big race consisted of a couple of Irish inland races followed by a Talbenny and then in the three weeks leading up to the King’s Cup 3 or 4 tosses per week from around 50 miles.


A. Darragh of Cullybackey - 221st Open Plaudren Vannes 2009, 119th Open Plaudren Vannes 2010 and 218th Plaudren Vannes 2011


This is another top award for one of the top National fliers. Alan has won numerous awards at National level over the years and is a household name within the sport. Last year Alan had a remarkable result in the Yearling National event by taking the top three positions in the Open. Alan is also a former King’s Cup winner having won the blue ribbon event in 1986 from Jersey.

The winner of the Hall of Fame Award here is a three-year-old cock that was a gift bird from club mate Sammy Steele and is off his best long distance bloodlines.

This cock is raced on Widowhood and then mated for the King’s Cup. Last year his he was sent sitting 5/6 days and this year he was sent sitting ten days. Alan just got his first young ones of this cock this year.

This year the bird was given every race down Ireland and then Talbenny when he was the second pigeon home for Alan.

In preparation for the King’s Cup he was given a few short-training tosses and then flown out with the young birds.


R. Williamsom of Bondhill - 23rd Open Plaudren Vannes 2009, 140th Open Plaudren Vannes 2010 and 223rd Open Plaudren Vannes 2011


Ron Williamson of Bondhill needs no introduction as he is often regarded as one of the leading fanciers in Europe. He has a tremendous record at all levels and I was surprised to learn that this was only his second Hall of Fame win. The pigeon timed here is a five-year-old blue hen from his distance bloodlines. This hen showed some early promise when she was 6th Open NIPA as a young bird from Fermoy racing against 20,000 plus birds. She was sent to the race King’s Cup sitting 14 days, having reared a pair of youngsters earlier in the year.

Racing for the hen this year consisted of 3 Inland races plus Talbenny and then trained on Ron’s transporter as and when the weather permitted.

The Williamson loft timed two birds on the second day with both just missing out on Hall of Fames. Unfortunately one of them wont be able to go for the Award this year, as it has recently been a victim of a peregrine attack. He does however still have two birds going for Hall of Fames and hopefully this year’s hall of Fame will be competing for a Gold Medal.


Friendship National Triple Award


C & L Woodside of Ballyclare - 5th Open Picauville 2009, 65th Open St Malo 2010 and 75th Open St Malo 2011


C & L Woodside became the first ever winners of a Friendship Triple Award when they timed their four-year-old hen to take 75th Open in the Friendship National this year from St Malo. The base of this loft is Kenyons obtained from Smyth Bros of Ballymena as far back as in 1982 with the introduction of a few latebreds. Having gained success with these they were able to go back to this source and add a few more in over the years.

In 2009 when this hen gained her first Open position in the Friendship race Leslie got two birds together and Arnold Thompson who races to the same garden got one as well and between them they were 4th, 5th and 6th Open.

In preparation for the National this year the hen was raced down Ireland and then given Talbenny. After that she was trained either with Ron Williamson to Laytown or Leslie takes the birds himself to Skerries.

2011 was a great year for Leslie at National level with 5 birds timed out of 7 sent to the King’s Cup.


News from INFC


As we approach a new season there is much to report from the Irish National Flying Club. The closing date for membership is Saturday 28th April. The membership fee is £15 for existing members and for those not members in 2011 the fee is £25. Forms are available for download on

In 2012 the Yearling National will be a Diamond Jubilee event with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals going to 1st, 2nd and 3rd Open INFC. £1,000 has been added to the prize fund for the race with a Free Nom having 10 prizes of £100.

The same applies to the Friendship National in 2012, which will be known as the Olympic Friendship National. Again there will be Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Open in line with the Olympic theme. As in the Diamond Jubilee Yearling National there will be a Free Nom with 10 prizes of £100.

A new clock station has been agreed for Cork City, which will be in addition to the existing clock stations.



Brendan McLoughlin

Press Officer INFC